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REVIEW SONY UWP-D11 by Kevin Cook F.Inst.V. (Hon.) E ver since the new regulations in the UK on radio microphone frequencies were introduced in the UK at the end of 2012, the days were numbered for my trusty old Sony UWP series radio mic system (consisting of the URX-P1 UHF dual-diversity receiver and UTX-B1 transmitter). Whilst super-reliable and excellent quality, this combo is limited to channels 67-69 which the government sold off to expand the frequencies available for mobile phones (cheers!!). After the new regulations came into place radio mics had to switch over to channel 38 if they were capable of doing so - and the old UWP series were not. Apparently there are ways to upgrade this receiver/transmitter system but it entails changing the main board in each unit (way beyond my technical skills) – but I’d already made up my mind that it was time to move on to something new with some additional features that would make wireless microphone use even more adaptable and reliable. There have been many new and compliant radio mic solutions on the market since these changes were announced but I’d resisted them all for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I’d managed to carry on using my old UWP series without interference or conflict with the authorities. Naughty I know but when needs must the devil drives! Secondly, I was so pleased with their performance that I was reluctant to change to anything new and untested. To me, Sony have always represented belt and braces technology so any move away from this brand was a turnoff. Any replacement would also have to have the same dual-diversity capability, be robust, compact, easy to use and within the same kind of budget as the original UWP series (sub £500). 72 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 91 JULY 2014 Introducing the UWP-D11 I first set eyes on the new UWP-D11 at BVE 2014 where I was filming interviews with various exhibitors about their new products aimed squarely at professional videographers. This included filming an interview with Álvaro Ortiz at Sony about the various bits of technology they were showing for the first time in the UK – which included the UWP-D series ( I knew there and then that I’d found my replacement so it was only a matter of time before I got one. The complete UWP-D series includes: UWP-D11: Belt-pack transmitter, portable receiver UWP-D12: Handheld microphone, portable receiver UWP-D16: Plug-on transmitter, belt- pack transmitter, portable receiver The D11 package is a direct replacement for my old system, though I have to admit that a UTX-P03 Plug-on transmitter (part of the D16 package) is still on my wish list. Whilst the vast majority of my work is adequately covered by the D11 package (which includes an omni-directional lavalier microphone, windshield, belt clips and cold-shoe mount) there are occasions where I use a wired handheld reporter-type microphone and it would be great to go completely wire-free between mic and receiver. Having said that, the D11’s portable transmitter (URX-B03) has a mini-jack input, with adjustable attenuation, allowing you to connect other microphones with differing sound pressure levels. The input can also be switched between mic and line level so I could, for instance, feed the transmitter with an output from my Tascam DR-60D mixer-recorder enabling me to feed up to three microphone inputs into the URX-B03 and transmit that back to the receiver (URX-P03).